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Senior Lecturer, Geography and Planning, University of New England

Dr Melissa Parsons is a river scientist with broad-ranging research interests in river monitoring and assessment, large flood disturbances, river ecology, river and floodplain resilience, building resilience to natural hazards, public policy, psychological responses to environmental change, and water resource management. Melissa works at the interface between theory and practice, and examines the ways that concepts such as resilience, scale and adaptive management can advance environmental and natural hazard management outcomes.

Melissa led the development of the Australian Disaster Resilience Index. In conjunction with the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and Australian emergency service agencies, the index was used to conduct the first national-level assessment of disaster resilience in Australia ( Melissa teaches courses in natural hazards and has supervised PhD students in areas of river and floodplain science, psychology and natural hazards. Prior to joining UNE, Melissa worked on several large-scale environmental assessment programs, including the National Carbon Accounting System, the Sustainable Rivers Audit and the AUSRIVAS river health assessment. Her post-doctoral research examined the ecological effects of the February 2000 floods across southern Africa on the rivers of Kruger National Park.


  • –present
    Senior Lecturer, Geography and Planning, University of New England


  • 2001 
    University of Canberra, Doctor of Philosophy